Aman Nath
Through Indian Eyes: 19th and 20th Century Photography from India by Judith Mara Gutman Oxford University Press & International Centre of Photography, 1982, 198 pp., 140
Nov-Dec 1982, volume 7, No 3

1836, Paris: Louis Daguerre invented the camera. Immedi¬ately, enthusiasts of the inven¬tion hailed the birth of an era of objectivity. Later, a new proverb was born: ‘the camera doesn’t lie’. In the course of organizing some 100 exhibi¬tions of diverse cultural and geographical origin (the latest being Through Indian Eyes), the International Center of Photography discovered again and again that the camera has been, in fact, a very subjective instrument of observation and documentation and that it can be made to lie.

In India this should have come as less of a surprise, even though Judith Mara Gutman, historian of art and photo¬graphy, who put together a stunning collection of painted Indian photographs, reacted in a very ‘American tourist’ manner and is quoted to have said, ‘My God, I’ve never seen anything like this before. … I felt as if I had discovered a whole vision of life’

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